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“It Takes Two” by Sharon Hendrix

Sharon Hendrix dispenses exquisite lyrical magic alongside Marvin Robinson in her all-new single “It Takes Two,” and it’s joined by a sophisticated instrumental arrangement inspired by the Marvin Gaye classic that is almost certain to leave you breathless. From the very moment that the music enters our airspace and starts to connect with us through a supple, but sterling bassline, we’re drawn closer to the melodic framework of the verses, the violent strut of the percussion, and the crushing tenacity of the soulful grooves. If this isn’t one of the most enthralling R&B covers due out this spring, then frankly, I don’t know what could be.

The intensity is off the charts, but even amid all the sonic harmonization, Hendrix remains a fearless linchpin in the mix and ties everything together with her incredible voice.   Sturdy drumming guides the lyrics from one verse to the next, but it’s the only element of artificiality to be found in “It Takes Two.” In Hendrix’s singing, it’s met with an organic balance to its stoic cosmetic design and acts as an agent of amplification for all of the illustrious detail to behold in her vocal. The way that she structured this piece is perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the song as a whole; while Sharon Hendrix could just as easily have put her voice at the forefront of the master mix, she doesn’t even try to steal all of the spotlight for herself in this single.  Instead, she forms an equilibrium between her crooning, Robinson, and the instrumental backbone of the melody, and we’re treated to a wicked harmony as a result.  

Despite the complexities of the mix, Hendrix’s vocal is woven directly into the fabric of the synthesized rhythm that greets us at the very start of the song seamlessly. Though we’re able to tell which part of the melody is coming from where together all of these elements create a singular tour de force that pummels us with its brute force as we progress through the track. This isn’t the easiest of concepts to execute without resorting to the use of accentuating studio technology, but somehow, Sharon Hendrix managed to pull it off without a hitch in “It Takes Two,” and has raised the bar for herself and the scene that spawned her consequently.

If you’re looking for some of the very best R&B cover material that you’re going to hear in 2023, “It Takes Two” will make an excellent addition to your record collection. It’s just a taste of the magnificently well-developed skillset that she brings with her to every piece of music that Hendrix records, and if we’re lucky, only a sampling of what is to come in her upcoming releases as the years go by. She’s still a pretty fresh face on the national spectrum, but with songs like this one in her discography, I don’t think that there’s much of a question as to whether or not she has a real future ahead of her in this particularly thrilling time for new music and the generation responsible for it.

Mindy McCall  



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